A provisional draft of a project to develop the fishery resources of Bhutan as a food source and for sport fishing was prepared as early as July 1973 in the Fisheries office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Far East with the collaboration of Dasha Pema Wangchuck, Director of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry of Bhutan, who was then attending a workshop in Bangkok. This draft was subsequently sent for comments to various agencies concerned and the comments received referred to the Governement of Bhutan for consideration.
An FAO team comprising Dr. H.R. Rabanal, Regional Fish Culturist, and Mr. C.Y. Lee, Regional Marketing, Credit and Cooperatives Officer, was in Bhutan from 8 March to 2 April 1974, to investigate the status and potential of fisheries of Bhutan and to assist the Government in finalizing the draft of the project proposal in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme office in New Delhi, India. The project proposed provided for the services of a Fisheries Development Adviser with a good knowledge of inland fisheries and fish culture for a period of 2 years. The adviser was to conduct, with a national counterpart, a fishery development survey of the waters of the country, to evaluate the existing resources and to initiate appropriate exploitation and management measures.
Following this proposal, Dr. G.P. Dubey was assigned by FAO to undertake a feasibility study for the development of inland fisheries in Bhutan for a period of 6 months. Dr. Dubey arrived at Thimbu, Bhutan, on 26 January 1976 and was attached to the Department of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. Mr. Dorji Tenzing, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry of the Department, worked with him as the national counterpart. Mr. Chhongey, Fisheries Inspector and Mr. Dungchhu Wangdi, Field Assistant, were also attached to the project. The period of assignment of Dr. Dubey was extended by another six months in August 1976. The following is a report of their findings.